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2024 Annual Departmental Awards

April 30, 2024

2024 Annual Departmental Awards

Department Chair Philip presents an award to Lee-Lee Knupp (left)

Last week's Comparative Studies departmental awards ceremony and reception once again provided a communal space for celebrating our students, staff, and faculty as we wrapped up the spring 2024 semester. Read below for our award recipients, as well as the titles of our graduating Master's student essays and undergraduate student theses, which illustrate the diversity of experience and interests cultivated in our Department.

Photos courtesy of Doug Dangler, ASC Digital Media Studio Manager



  • Marilyn Waldman Award best paper by an undergraduate in a Comparative Studies class
    • Lee-Lee Knupp
  • Richard Bjornson Award best essay by a graduate student in our department.
    • Adam Banks 
    • Ahwar Sultan 
    • Honorable Mention: Patrick Dunn
  • Marge Lynd Award for best teaching 
    • by an associate faculty member Mark Anthony Arceño 
    • by a graduate student member Deanna Holroyd
    • by a faculty member Sam Aranke
  • Graduate Student Service Award 
    • Nicole Stevens
  • Undergraduate Community Engagement Award
    • Emily Cecil



  • Adrielys Calderon Ortiz, "Towards a Space of Inclusion: The Legendary Monster World in Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows," a close reading that argues for how "the legendary monster world (as a space in Latinx children’s fantasy literature) invites readers to recognize and counter unequal power dynamics that affect Latinx children, using Latinx myths and legends as an imaginative resource" 
  • Shanbrae McFarland, "Bare Blackness & Crossroads: The Quantum Garden of Incarnation," a provocative intervention into Black Studies, offering both a critique of colonial epistemology and a defense of "spiritual anarchy" and Black Indigeneity



  • Kate Brierley, “For The Love of The Land An Analysis of Human-Nature Relationships Through bell hooks’ “Love Ethic”
  • Haley Brown, “Diet Culture and Biopolitics: A Critical Examination of Nutritional Discourse, Class, and Colonial Legacies”
  • Elisabeth Burns, “Are We What We Watch?: An Interrogation of Current East Asian Representations in Popular Movies”
  • Emily Cecil, “Dance, Menstruation, & Education”
  • Casey Everett, “Structures of Knowledge in Communities of Misinformation Surrounding the Covid-19 Vaccine”
  • Hannah Frederico, “Reclaiming Artemisia: Resisting the Temptation of Sexualized Narratives in Art History”
  • Lee-Lee Knupp, “Publicly Private: Legitimacy and Power in the Laboratory”
  • River Li, “The Making of a Music Album, in Search of Faith, Home and the Simplicities of the Natural World”
  • Amber McClendon, “Intercultural Engagement: A Spectrum, not a Binary”
  • Rhazariah McFall, “A New Light to Blackness: Contrary to Popular Belief”
  • Nicholas McIntyre, “Guilt and Shame’s Interaction with Existential Dread and Hope in Kendrick Lamar’s Music”
  • Giovanni Moretta, “Postmodernism and Aesthetic Pluralism: Representation and Resistance in Multiverse Films”
  • Kayla Murray, “Living by an Ethic of Love in a World of Complexity”
  • Anita Wang, “History and Development of Nuo Folk Religion”
  • Lauren Wayt, “Revelations Through Reverberations: Reaching God in Hayden Anhendönia and Ethel Cain’s Preacher’s Daughter
  • Christian Williams, “A Novel as A Foundation for Video Game Development”